March 14 – April 10 Opening Friday, March 14 @ 7pm
For the past number of years I have been gathering an on-going collection of studies of skyscapes in the surrounding area – sketches, photographs, video and written descriptions – and as a result of these, have been working on a series of oil paintings, drawings and etchings where this “cape” is strongly present. It often seems that perhaps this protective and life-nurturing shield has a more pronounced presence on us during the dormant season; the stillness of the winter period has a thought provoking, centring effect, while nature takes its rest and gathers energy for the coming seasons.
Colour, mood and composition are central to this series of works, as is the interconnection between them. Many of these images feature, on the low horizon, silhouettes and shapes of human activity and built structures: juxtaposed against the fluid colours above, they are both comforting and threatening.
My work looks at our perception of space, place and time. I am interested in what happens when one or more of these elements are not completely in sync, or exist as different forms which may overlap or interfere with each other. What could happen if two or more places exist in the same space, or if time could be stretched one way or another? The philosopher Michel Foucault describes heterotopias as places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. These are spaces of otherness, which are neither here nor there, that are simultaneously physical and mental, such as the space of phone call or the moment when you see yourself in the mirror.
I am particularly interested in the heterotopias of time and space. Heterotopias of time (such as museums which enclose in one place objects from all times and styles) exist in time but also exist outside of time because they are built and preserved to physically insusceptible to time’s ravages. Heterotopias of space function in that they can allow two spaces to exist in the same place (such as a garden with plants from different areas of the world) and they function in relation to the creation of a space of illusion that exposes every real space, and of compensation, which is to create a real space – a space that is other.
I tend to use real spaces as a basis from which my work can evolve. By using material gathered from historical records for example I seek to construct an alternative or imagined reality. One of the current strands that I am examining is using early original glass plate negative images as source material. I primarily use drawing and paint as a medium for my work but also include other visual media including video and installation.
RED COUCH SPACE
CRANK – Paintings by Peter Dunne Opening Friday March 14 @ 7 pm
Peter Dunne is a Dublin born artist living in London who has made a reputation for himself on the urban contemporary art scene. His work contains a strong social comment combined with wit and humour painted in a social realistic style. In 2011 he launched a direct action against corporate greed with his Anti-Greed-Giveaway in the financial heart of the City of London. He gave away 300 original paintings highlighting the banking crisis. All the work went in an hour and a half but not one single banker would avail of a free painting. The video can be seen on ‘YouTube’.
[caption id="attachment_1360" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Lorraine Walsh:
Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 50cm, 2013[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1358" align="aligncenter" width="293"] Fiona Kelly:
Etched Lino Cut, 71cm x 71cm, 2013[/caption]
Kelly's observations of the manmade landscape, topographic movement, stagnation and metamorphosing debris are representations, characters for her contemporary fables; a legacy of longing, disposability and escape. Using print, reclaimed materials and text she invites the viewer to join in a fundamental dialogue intrinsic to Fiona Kelly’s work which quietly speaks of urban sprawl, throwaway culture, and the absurdities found in unremarkable environments.
[caption id="attachment_1359" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fiona Kelly:
Etched Lino Cut, 55cm x 68cm, 2013.[/caption]
Lorraine Walsh discovers strange enclosures of manmade wilderness in her observations of derelict and vacant ground. Using the particular qualities of paint and found materials the artist scavenges from the abandoned traces of previous human activity she finds along with a perception of a nature that is wild and sometimes dark to make the work. Interested in what lies beneath the surface of everyday life Walsh invites the viewer to small islands of escape or gaps in the system from where we might begin to see the world differently.
[caption id="attachment_1361" align="aligncenter" width="215"] Lorraine Walsh:
Oil on Canvas, 25cm x 35cm, 2013.[/caption]
IN THE RED COUCH SPACE
“Imram” New Paintings by Josephine Geaney
‘In the Celtic tradition, warriors and monks undertook incredible journeys of imagination and spirit. The Journey to the eternal, invisible world was called the imram.’(John O’Donohue, “Divine Beauty, The Invisible Embrace”)
The exhibition “Imram” features sculptures made from bog oak, printed decayed canvas, and ashes, accompanied by paintings using images of boats crossing through boundaries to approach new partially visible dimensions. The idea behind this work is her curiosity of the life cycle and the life/death journey representing the fragmented and vulnerable state of the human condition.
[caption id="attachment_1364" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Imram, Josephine Geaney[/caption]
Josephine’s work is autobiographical, allowing the viewer into her unconscious world of memory, experience and curiosity, using many mediums, such as digital imagery, sculpture, print and mixed media although her critical engagement is with paint, pushing its possibilities, constantly experimenting with new techniques and outcomes, manipulating the paint in order to capture light conveying an intended sense of atmosphere and mystery, drawing the viewer into the work, challenging them to look closely in order to add their own narrative and emotion to it.
The subject matter of her work varies from landscapes to figurative, using boundaries to express emotion, mood and narrative. Her paintings are realistic and yet abstract, playing with the idea of the visible and invisible, the real and unreal.
For more information : http://josephinegeaneyartist.com/
Exhibitions continue until March 6th 2014
‘New Paintings and Some Drawings’ by Samuel Walsh
Official opening by Dr Hugh Maguire, Director, The Hunt Museum, Limerick
on Saturday, 9th August, at 4pm
‘Hiems V’, Acrylic/oil/canvas,100x100xcms, 2012.
The word ‘new’ in the title of this exhibition might happily be replaced with the word ‘newish’ except that the latter has an awkwardness that doesn’t fit with my way of thinking. The fact is that not all the paintings in this show are ‘new’ and the ‘new’ refers to what has become an established, stylistic consistency in the making of my art since about 2006. I have, for the first time in many years found a formula in which to lay down structure, line and colour in arrangements that reflect my observation of the world as I move through it and note its many variations and permutations.
These observations are not long studied examinations of situations. They are glances, glimpses, the edges and the ends of things, quick sightings of the world in very much the same way as most of us move through the places and spaces that make up our everyday experience. The difference is that I make a note of these experiences and consider turning them into something other than a memory. I make them into a story, a personal story that is unique to me and presents itself as a work of art. This is both the joy and the burden of being an artist; the ethical responsibility to see the world in a particular way and to document it in such a fashion that it can be universally experienced. The universality of art is not that it is the same to everyone but that each person sees it differently and therefore can experience that work of art exclusively to themselves sometimes shared using what is called language. Sometimes we see things the same; this is to be welcomed, but there are often subtle differences within that sameness. This way of looking at art and recognising it has been with us for many thousands of years but we live in an age of immediacy so we often confuse identification with understanding and ask the meaning of art where there is none or in some cases too much.
These paintings (drawings, studies) do not mean anything other than what you see in them. They are square (there are two exceptions here), coloured and have linear elements. The colours come from observations but may change in the making of an individual work and the linear elements come from drawings made in situ of any number of things. Sometimes the paintings come from a passage in a book, an idea I might have about the world, a note made from an old master painting or a simple observation on my part, but mostly they come from just looking around me at what is going on or in some cases what is not going on.
My work is often called abstract but I don’t see it like that. To me it is more like a new reality, a different reality and that turning a blank canvas into the illusion of a vase of flowers with the use of earth and mineral pigments and the hairs of a Chinese pig is real abstraction!
We all see the world differently which makes our individual worlds unique to ourselves. I just happen to have a process by which I can share that individuality with a larger audience. Samuel Walsh, Cloonlara, Co Clare, June-July 2014
Samuel Walsh…. was born in Wimbledon, London in 1951. Both his parents were Irish: his mother from Limerick, his father from Ennis. He was educated in London until 1968 and also in Limerick at Villiers Secondary School. Initially he lived in Limerick but since 1990 has lived and worked in Co Clare where he has a studio. He studied at the Limerick School of Art and subsequently took an MA in Fine Art (Painting) at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. He also holds a NUI Diploma in Philosophy from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. He was elected a member of Aosdána in 1997 and served as a Toscaireacht from 2007-2009. He is the founder of the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing that hangs in the Limerick City Gallery of Art. He is in the words of Róisin Kennedy of the National Gallery of Ireland: ‘…one of the country’s leading exponents of abstract art…’
RED COUCH SPACE
AUG 8– SEP 4
‘Sorting and Piecing’ by Mollie Douthit
Official opening on Saturday, 9th August, at 4pm
The exhibition runs 9th August- 4th of September and features oil paintings and gouache on paper. Douthit’s practice entails sitting with and looking at objects, relaying what is viewed with paint or drawing materials. Featured in this exhibition are paintings of small food items that are personal reminders of people and places. Douthit values how the discription of an object can be achieved through direct fresh mark making. The opacity of gouache encourages immediacy with material once it touches paper, marks left emulate what is being viewed immediately. The oil paintings are equally as demanding in their presence but begin to consider the space where the objects exist. The items are trapped within a new dimension of paint and no longer absent of that space, as in the works on paper. These works are meant to be an investigation of the colour and form of these objects, while enjoying the physical traits of something nostalgic, considering how it exists when it becomes something that is only to be viewed.
Mollie Douthit (b. 1986, Grand Forks, ND)
2009 BFA University of North Dakota
2011 Post Bac Certificate, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
2014 MFA Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland
Douthit’s work has been featured in the 2013 MFA edition of New American Paintings, MFA, Boston Medal Award Auction, RDS Student Art Awards exhibition, as well as the Saatchi gallery in London. Douthit exhibited in the 2013 RHA Annual Exhibition and received the Hennessy Craig Award. In February 2014 Douthit was featured in Saatchi Art’s Invest in Art series.
Starting in September Douthit will begin the Tony O’Malley residency in Kilkenny, and has been selected for a solo exhibition in the Ashford gallery space at the RHA, Dublin.
For further information on Douthit visit www.molliedouthit.com
Official opening on Saturday 11th January at 4 pm
Robert Dunne's work is mainly about growing up in a small mining village in north Kilkenny. It explores issues about identity and the uncertainty which comes with it. Robert’s work incorporates drawing, painting and sculpture. The starting point is always drawing, and this involves layering and then taking elements away; work is exposed and layered again, the ideas which emerge from these drawings can sometimes be developed into other media.
Robert has created a site specific piece especially for this show, the piece involved working with schools kids from Kilkenny and Ennistymon, to create brown paper bag houses, which will be on show en masse, and this piece is about hiding and exposing parts of one’s identity.
Robert Dunne was educated in the USA and Ireland. Since the 1990s he has been exhibiting in a number of group- and solo shows.
Cormac O’Neill is a painter. His painting is intuitive and expressive. It is a restless engagement with coherence. The work maintains a record of its own history as a series of tentative sallies and failures towards an intuition or idea.
The works combine abstract marks, text and at times mechanically reproduced images. These images reflect sometimes on the bombardment of images and the difficulty of objective history. Sometimes they reflect on the fact of these images in their banality and ubiquity. The text is used to amplify the echo of some of the difficulties we meet in our contemporary encounters with the symbolic.
Inspired by Eastern and Western philosophical thought and poetry Cormac makes images which draw from our current presence in the world and resonate with the universal.
The show runs until February 1st
IN THE RED COUCH SPACE
'Who Am I?' – a series of self-portrait paintings by Kris T. Verenga
Official opening on Saturday 11th January at 4 pm with Anu Day
The question 'Who Am I' is a provocative one and a question that the artist has been addressing as a life pursuit. It is first a spiritual question of origin, looking at the source of consciousness, ego, and self. And secondly it has been a question for the artists' work. How does this get expressed through painting and creativity
Kris T. Verenga says about the process: “The investigation of 'Self', manifesting as a series of 'Self'-portraits began the winter of 2011. At first it was a distraction from bleak days and nights and then became a tool for the 'outsider' to go deeper into the vessel of the human form as a philosophical search and as a practice for fine tuning the eye, and refining drawing and compositional skills. It began to read as a storyboard of characters reflected through still images, a Dickensian winter
She continues: “I began by setting up scenes and placing her form on the set, photographing the moment using tripod and remote. The process began as a candid look, no artificial distractions like expectations of beauty or lack there of.
One begins to look with detachment at the form, without judgement. This in itself delivers an emotional adjustment of acceptance. The process evolved from strictly straight forward 'seeing' to a more elaborate development which illustrated mental constructs, visual turns, narrative twists and bent images.
Approaching year two of this examination, the portrait settles, there is less literal interpretation, the images disperse into emptier space and drift into abstraction”.
For more information: http://www.kristyverenga.com
Trasna IV opening and Christmas Party in the Courthouse Gallery
Thursday 28th November at 7 pm
On 28th November we will open the doors for our fourth Trasna exhibition “Trasna IV” in the main gallery of the Courthouse. This is our annual exhibition which allows both established and emerging artists to show their work.
Trasna was started by Marie Connole and Maeve Collins 4 years ago, as part of the Christmas show titled 'HAS BEEN + IS GOING', which they curated at that time. Trasna was a big success and has continued to be ever since. Every year seems better than the last. This year we have a submission of over 200 original art works.
Special thanks to Steve Mathieson, our job-bridge intern since September, who organized this year's Trasna.
The official opening will be on Thursday 28th November with a light hearted, silent auction.
The reserve price on each piece will be €40 of which 25% of the selling price will be donated to the running costs of the gallery and the remainder to the artist.
Trasna IV exhibition will run from
28th November - 4th January at 4pm.
In The Red Couch Space at the same time
a mixed-media exhibition by Eric Knoote
from 28th November - 4 January
opening on Thursday 28th November at 8 pm
Eric Knoote is a mid-career Dutch artist exhibiting his work for the first time in Ireland. This work consists mostly of abstract painting, in the tradition of the abstract art related to Dutch artists Piet Mondrian and Jan Schoonhoven.
The Abstract Art tradition of going back to the essence of a subject, by stripping off all the fringes - representational, moral and social - by concentrating on the qualities of line, colour and shape plays a significant part in the resulting purity and beauty of his works of art.
In this exhibition Eric uses a mixed media technique on paper marking a spatial perception of Dutch landscapes.
Knoote paints in a pure, rectilinear and fixed way in a formalistic approach (stressing form over content) while still being playful and inventive, yet always in his own distinctive, characteristic style.
He plays with lines and forms to create work where many different emotions can be perceived as coming together.
Eric shows us that painting with less, can be more.
For more information on Eric’s work, please check his website: www.ericknoote.nl
An exhibition by the Ground Up Artists Collective, from Oct 25 – Nov 21
Official opening by Siobhan Mulcahy, on Friday Oct 25th at 8 pm
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ground Up Artists Collective (GUAC) and the Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery will play host to their annual members exhibition ‘Feasting on the Wind’, opening on the 25th October.
Throughout the years GUAC have been involved in a number of public interventions, by inserting contemporary art into the rural environment they instigate debate and discussion between contemporary artists and the rural constituency. Members have come and gone leaving their own imprint on GUAC and the communities they worked with yet the issues of isolation, public engagement, contemporary practitioners coming together to inspire and inform one another remain an integral part of GUAC.
This years’ exhibition consists of a core group of ten artists, Monica de Bath, Maeve Collins, Marie Connole, Kieran Donnellan, Trudi van der Elsen, Barry Charles Foley, Pauline Beatrice Goggin, Lewis Goodman, John Hanrahan, Marianne Slevin.
A dynamic range of work encompassing architectural interventions, Photography of mental asylums, Painting, Sculpture, Animations, Video and Installation all come together to explore issues of isolation, connectivity, natural history, coastal & land use.
The GUAC collective have been making use of one of the Courthouse Studios, since August and will continue with this until December. This has become a lab space for dialogue, reflection on process and collaborations. Much of the work that has resulted from research forms part of ongoing projects. It is hoped that this process will continue to evolve through the exhibition period and beyond.
As part of the 10 year anniversary Barry Charles Foley has also been tasked with curating an exhibition ‘Common Ground’ that will feature some of the past members and their works. In conjunction with Occupy Space in Limerick City this exhibition will bring GUAC and the rural into that urban setting and will run in conjunction with this year’s annual members show.
In a related event, Pauline Beatrice Goggin will host a free workshop, before the exhibition opening, in the GURU TEA HOUSE, Ennistymon, at 6.30 pm. This event, which will be filmed, will be part of her on-going project ‘Public Worry’, which seeks to create space for an intimate political public and their voices. All are welcome.
SEPT 20 – OCT 17
Paintings by Ian Wieczorek &
Photography/mixed media by Asylum archive.
Official opening on SEPT 20 at 7.00 pm
by Dr. John Mulloy, Lecturer in Art and Critical Theory
Ian WieczorekAsylum Archive
Two visual art exhibitions exploring ideas of identity and social status
in contemporary society – how we define ourselves, and how we are defined
Asylum Archive presents a series of photographs documenting the experience
of asylum seekers in Ireland - the poignant geography of their everyday
lives. Ian Wieczorek offers a series of paintings in oil on canvas
exploring how we are defined by the digital world of the internet.
Engaging and provocative, both exhibitions pose questions about the
dislocations of modern society.
OPEN CONVERSATION with Dr. John Mulloy at 7.30 pm
To help answer, or at least outline, those questions, Asylum Archive and
Ian Wieczorek will take part in an open public conversation with Dr John
Mulloy, Lecturer in History of Art, Critical Theory, Arts-based Community
Development and Rural Arts in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. As
well as finding out more about the work of these two established artists,
the conversation will explore how contemporary art can or does engage with
issues of identity and status. This promises to be a relevant and
accessible event where the audience will also have the chance to ask their
own questions if they wish.
RED COUCH SPACE
SEP 20- OCT 17
Seriatim, etchings by Joe Ryan
Joe Ryan has established a multi disciplinary creative practice, integrating 2D mediums printmaking, painting and exploring complex relationships between 2D and 3D medium through installations, assemblage and collage.
He has had several solo shows and exhibited extensively all over Ireland, U.K. Europe, U.S. Canada, and Far East. His doctoral research, currently undertaking in Fine Art at University of East London, explores Art, Institutions and social Control through the construction of several layers of complex imagery creating a visual language of metaphor, allegory and ambiguity.
His work draws on the theoretical approaches taken by Michel Foucault into institutions, heterotopias, and dystopias and Erving Goffman and his theories of “total institutions”, an isolated enclosed social system where primary purpose is to control most aspects of its participant’s daily lives, where the inmate is under the bureaucratic control of staff and excluded from decisions regarding his or her treatment.
Within these etching by Joe Ryan there is no colour, but a constructed wall of darkness engulfing symbols of multiple institutions and interweaving effect in seriatim.
AUG 16 - SEP 12
The exhibition will be launched on August 16th at 8pm with an official opening reception by Ennistymon native Eddie Stack.
Toll House Ennistymon
“Ennistymon: Vanishing Heritage” is a photographic exhibition presented by The Old Ennistymon Society celebrating the rich architectural, economic and social heritage of Ennistymon. The photographs date from the early part of the last century and capture a long forgotten age. The exhibition will give a fascinating insight into now disappeared buildings, daily activities of the inhabitants, and long forgotten businesses and crafts - indeed everything that contributed to the rich tapestry of life in a north Clare market town.
The Old Ennistymon Society presents this exhibition to commemorate its 21st anniversary. The society is the voluntary organisation responsible for the preservation of Ennistymon Courthouse and developing it into the stunning arts complex “The Courthouse Studios and Gallery”. It is now a centre of excellence promoting both arts and culture in the North Clare area.
The society was founded in 1992 by a sub-committee of the North Clare Historical Society to which individuals prominent in cultural and community organisations in Ennistymon were invited. A new body “The Old Ennistymon Society” was founded with Michael Comber as its chairman, and its mission statement is “Preserving the Past for the Future”. The society bought out the ground rent from the Macnamara/Devas estate by organising a big local fundraising campaign consisting of weekly draws and producing a parish magazine. When the building was secured the initial aim of the new society was to develop the courthouse as museum and local history centre but following a feasibility study this idea was deemed inviable.
The society then decided the courthouse would be suitable as studio space for visual artists. The building was offered to an artist’s co-operative on a 5 year lease for a nominal rent. In 2001 when the lease was approaching its end the Society sought and received funding from the Department of Arts Access Programme with co-funding from Clare County Council to conserve and renovate the Courthouse as five visual artist’s studios, exhibition galleries and a recording studio. The society engaged John O’Reilly as architect for the project and today’s arts complex is a testament to the tenacity and vision of the founding members of the Old Ennistymon Society, a totally voluntary body which now manages the courthouse arts centre.
The exhibition will be launched on August 16th at 8pm in the Courthouse Gallery with an official opening reception by Ennistymon native Eddie Stack, author and lecturer, to which everyone with an interest in Ennistymon is cordially invited. The exhibition will run from August 16th to September 12th from 12 – 5 Tuesday to Saturday. On Wednesday August 21st at 8pm in the Courthouse Gallery there will be a heritage discussion illustrated by the film “I Was Happy Here”, depicting many of the streets and buildings portrayed in the exhibition. On Thursday morning August 22nd at 11.30 there will be a town walk led by Frank Davis, Frances Madigan and John O’Loughlin.
This is a must see exhibition for everyone with an interest in how life was lived in Ennistymon, a North Clare market town in the early to mid-20th century.
We would like to thank everyone who donated photographs to the exhibition especially Clare County Libraries.
RED COUCH SPACE
'Of Stones and Flowers'
Pen & Ink Illustrations & Watercolours by Hilary Gilmore
AUG 16 - SEP 12
Official opening Friday 16th August at 8 pm
Hilary Gilmore (A.N.C.A.D./ATC) is probably best known both nationally and internationally, for her annual pen and ink illustrations which feature in 'The Other Clare' (Journal of the Shannon Archaeological and Historical Society) and also her watercolour paintings, mainly of Botanical subjects inspired by her own extensive garden and the nearby Burren landscape and flora. Hilary’s working environment is the great outdoors where she gets inspiration for all of her work, particularly in the carvings left by countless unnamed craftsmen, in historical buildings and graveyards throughout the county.
Hilary lives and works in Co Clare since moving from her native Galway in 1974.
She is an active member of the recently formed Irish Society of Botanical Artists and her work is to be found in various private and public collections as far apart as Nagoya (Japan) and the White House (Washington)
Her current exhibition features original illustrations celebrating the extraordinary work of long dead masons and sculptors which have featured on the cover of the 'Other Clare', together with a selection of some of her favourite botanical studies from her garden and further afield.
Official Opening by Charles Harper - Friday 12thJuly at 8pm
Six Female Abstract Painters :
Debbie Browne – Patsy Connolly – Mary Queally
- Christine Porter – Diana Rock – Rita Wobbe.
New Line Studios is situated on the edge of the Burren Mountains just 4 miles from Kinvara towards Carron. The studios are surrounded by hazel and holly trees which protect them from the outside world. There is an atmosphere of a retreat centre where artists can find peace and time for contemplation. No surprise that the Burren Yoga Centre is just around the corner.
6-8 artists/students meet at weekends organised by Rita Wobbe to practice their passion: abstract painting. The studios were founded by Rita in 2002 after she had completed an MA programme at Limerick School of Art and Design. She also established a strong link to the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan where she teaches abstract painting every August.
The six artists of the New Line Studios showing here all have in common their love and passion for abstract painting. Even if they influence each other when working together at New Line Studios, they all developed their own ideas or concepts about the work process. They havegot to know each other over the years and enjoy the company that comeswhen painting together, discussing different work practices, other artists' work or art historical movements, or simply enjoying some music and conversation.
Mary Queally and Debbie Browne engage in a very free flowing painting process, no objects necessary, just letting things happen while they are painting. The paintings are very rich in colour and seem to reflect on rhythm and energy. Mary uses tissue to create a surface texture. She uses this texture as a starting point and inspiration for the making of the painting. Her favourite colours are rich oranges, reds and purples. For her, painting has a spiritual quality. She compares painting with meditation. Her favourite artist of the past is Wassily Kandinsky.
Debbie uses colour for the excitement and expression of joy and happiness. Her paintings are very colourful and remind us of hot places down south. She uses a collage technique and builds up layers of paper and paint. She draws from her sailing experiences and visiting the Canary Islands. She is the youngest member of the group and has a natural ability in handling paint.
Diana Rock and Patsy Connolly are more inclined to abstract from an object or use images from the outside world as a starting point. These images come and go during the painting process. Figurative elements might be integrated as well and give more recognisable meaning to the work. Diana goes out into nature and takes photographs which inform the work. Her colour scheme often reflects her findings. She is a very lyrical and sensitive painter.
Patsy's work is often a reflection of her garden. It is concerned with the cycle of the seasons and growth, death and renewal. Aspects of the Burren Landscape, its people and animals living in the Burren also enter during the painting process. She often uses black/white and red. Beautiful grey tones link the different parts of the painting.
Christine Porter and Rita Wobbe are very intuitive painters. Both start the painting by using a grid or an underlying structure. The structure is often enhanced by the use of sand and glue which create a surface texture.
Experimentation is at the heart of Christine’s current practice. Her work explores the changing relationships created between the illusion of depth and actual depth in the composition, using thin paint layers and textured layers to produce visually dynamic images. Christine’s colour sense is subtle and confidently expressed, imparting a luminous quality to her work.
Rita likes to use a structure as a starting point for the painting process. She engages in a process of control and letting go, structure and free flow. A search for female identity has been the starting point of her recent exploration. These first paintings/drawings represent different stages in female life. They address feelings of youth, sexuality, awakening, outsider identity, loneliness, anger, speechlessness, etc. They are emotional abstractions.
The power of abstract painting lies in its richness of ambiguity and possibility of human expression. Over the last 100 years abstract painting has been shifting boundaries and questioning our perception of reality.
The painting process is a form of 'mapping the brain', using references from the outside world which enter and disappear. These references integrate during the painting process and become one on the 2D surface of the painting. In fact the painting itself becomes the subject and the object; it carries its own reality. At times the painting seems to be alive, it breathes in and out. The layers of paint are like a skin over the skeleton of an animal.
'A painting is, it does not have to be explained'.
Abstract painting uses different means of expression; colour, line, form, surface texture, etc. are freely used as elements during the creative process. Abstract painting is challenging; it gives the viewer 'more to do' when engaging with 'a process of transformation'. It allows us to re-experience the thrill of making and creating a piece of art. After all it is a platform for free expression which we all like to enjoy and appreciate.
Check out images of the successful launch of the exhibition:
Republic of Colour @ The New Line Studios. Official opened by Charles Harper on July 12th
RED COUCH SPACE
JULY 12 – AUG 8
About Place - New work by Kristen Healy
Official Opening - Friday 12thJuly at 8pm
The latest work by Kristen Healy draws from personal photographs and fieldwork sketches from summers spent in the Burren. More than landscape, the works explore the relationship between memory and space evoking the idea of the genii loci, the spirit of the place. The intimate relationship between place and person is cultivated through time and exploration, a development mirrored by that of the painting process itself.
Paint is applied in soft hues and strong confident line bringing form into focus, guiding the viewer as if through a journey. These musings have a meditative quality in which the everyday is dissolved and the personal narrative that exists between artist and subject is extended to the viewer through the exploration of the canvass surface.
Healy studied Fine art painting at The University of Wolverhampton and has exhibited regularly in the South of England and in Europe. She has moved her studio practice to Ennistymon, County Clare where she continues to develop her dialogue between personal perception and allegory.
JUNE 7 – JULY 4 – Opening Friday 7th June at 8pm
Daniel Mc Keon is a Dublin based artist who primarily works as a painter from a studio in the historical Henrietta Street area of Dublin. While growing up into his twenties he lived and worked in county Clare where his sister Eileen still has a house today outside Ennis. Daniel Mc Keon had his first solo exhibition at the Old Ground Hotel in 1978 alongside other artists who showed there at that time including John Shinnons, Micheal Gemmell, Catrinoa O’ Connor, to name a few because there was no other galleries or venues suitable for showing artworks at that time in county Clare. He has since gone on to exhibit his work in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, his paintings being mostly abstract and process driven usually made in different series.
Daniel Mc Keon also makes photographic or lens based artworks often using collage which has become an integral part of his artistic practice. For his upcoming exhibition from June 7th to 4th July 2013 at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon he has made a new series of works titled CHROMA which he hopes to use as an opportunity to reconnect to the county and people of Clare.
RED COUCH SPACE
JUNE 7 – JULY 4 - Opening Friday 7th June at 8pm
Housing Crisis - Ink drawings by Michael Coyne
This new exhibition of work by Mick Coyne "Housing Crisis" was prompted by the ongoing problem of ghost estates around Ireland.
Mick Coyne who is very involved in traditional irish music and singing scene lives in Ennis Co.Clare and has a Hairdressing business.He has always been in the art scene either through the music, singing or designing hair styles. Due to an ongoing illness that kept him housebound Mick became interested in drawing and painting. Drawing occupies his time during times of pain and boredom and sometimes he could be up most of the night.
Mick spent a year drawing trees. Most trees were with houses in mind. Either a farm house or a Georgian house with a small cherry tree in the garden. He crossed over from trees to houses without really noticing it.
Pen and ink is the main medium for this exhibition. It is good for intricate work and crisp colour.
- Sunday, 12th of May from 3-5pm
- Saturday, 18th of May from 3-5pm.
All welcome to join us at this free public gathering for tea and dialogue.
It will unfold over the next 3 weeks as the artworks /findings reveal themselves through the sharing and making and any collaborations that emerge in this process.
A shared artistically experimental exploration of art making in a small rural community of Monreal North, Ennistymon, Co. Clare, from 11- 18 May, 2013,
The Future is Domestic! uses the materiality of making to lead discourse and raise questions in the research of the merging of domestic and public spaces by hosting residencies and workshops over the week in a rural domestic setting.
Courthouse Gallery opening hours for free viewing are Tues- Sat, 12pm-4pm
For more information please contact: TheFutureIsDomestic@
This project is supported by the EU Local Partnership Scheme for transnational cultural co-operation.
Off Season - Photography by Niall Kerrigan
The concept of Off Season comes from the months when holiday homes/villages are unoccupied, the atmosphere this creates and the sense of life in suspended animation; reminiscent of the famine villages.
Shops in small, seaside towns waiting for the tourist business to come back; colourful playgrounds and amusements sitting empty.
Unlike the famine villages there is a justifiable expectation of renewed life but for the moment - ‘Off Season’- they are virtually deserted. Buildings and amenities lose their function. There is a dereliction that creates an atmosphere that, not surprisingly, has suggested itself as the setting for menacing tales to unfold in, in both literature and film.
There is also a great beauty to this abandonment; it allows everything to be seen at its most fundamental, allowing a clarity of vision and attention to detail impossible during high season. Since moving from city life to a seaside village five years ago this aesthetic has seeped into my consciousness and ‘Off Season’ is my attempt to portray its desolate beauty.
Niall Kerrigan is an award winning graphic designer originally from Dublin, now based in Killala, County Mayo. Since moving to Mayo, he has documented the area he lives and works in through the medium of photography which includes his first major body of work; Derelict: Silent & Still an exhibition inspired by the architecture of abandonment.
The Fabric of the West of Ireland - Potography by Patrick McHugh
[caption id="attachment_801" align="alignnone" width="199"] Patrick McHugh - Gerard Ginnane[/caption]
It is the textures or fabric of the west of Ireland that effects my work wherever I go, be it in my personal, editorial or advertising work. I find texture or fabric tends to be evident in much of my photography. The texture or fabric of a face, a surface, a tree, a landscape seems to be ever evident. This exhibition shows some personal work and some of my published editorial work with a strong emphasis in Black and White photography.
Although born in Ireland, Patrick McHugh spent his early years in Greenwich Village, New York City, returning to spend his teenage years in Ireland. After graduating from St. Flannans, Ennis, he rode the wave of emigration out of Ireland, returning to NYC to study at the School of Visual Arts and at Parsons School of Art and Design.
Assisting in New York and London at some of the more established photography studios introduced him to the world of editorial fashion and advertising. And after building a fashion portfolio in Madrid, opened a 2000 sq. ft. studio near the Guinness Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Four years later again returning to New York to set up in the Greenwich Village.
Patrick spent a decade concentrating in the Big Apple on Editorial Magazine and Catalog fashion photography. In 2001 he moved to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Barcelona, basing his office in the intrinsic barrio of El Borne for several years.
Today he is an established fashion and advertising photographer based in the west of Ireland.
Dividing his time between commercial and personal photography projects. His work has appeared in a wide array of national and international magazines, brand clients have included Aer Lingus, McDonald’s, Mazda, Time Inc. and some of Patrick’s personal projects have featured in Communication Arts, the New York Photo Festival and the Royal Hibernian Academy.
FETAC Exhibition Opening: Thursday 18th April at 7pm.
The Ennistymon Vocational School Exhibition (Fetac Level 5 & 6) will be running from April 18th to April 26th. The exhibition shows the creative journey of a varied group of students. The variety and exploration of the media and subject matter is explored through Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Textiles, Sculpture, and Installations. These unite to make an exciting body of work.
Brenda Byrne is an award winning artist and illustrator, based in North Clare and working as a resident artist at The Courthouse Studios & Gallery.
In this new collection of work Geography of the Heart Brenda takes her collage work in a new direction as it takes on a more textured and tactile feel through her use of multi -layering fabrics, papers and threads to create a collection of work that appeals to not just the eye but also to the touch.
Geography of the Heart is essentially a "snapshot" into the inner landscape of the artist on any particular day, in any particular moment.
Her work draws heavily on the surrounding landscapes of North Clare and the Burren.
The ever changing coastline, the ebb and flow of the changing tides - yet the work takes on at times an almost abstract feel as she breaks down the outer landscapes into tiny slivers of paper and materials and through connection to her emotional world she creates the feeling of the landscape.
Brenda is also the founder and director of The Ennis Yoga Studio which she established in 2008 to share her love of Yoga and Mindfulness Practices. And she is a Co-Founder of The Ennis Dance Co-Op. A Co-Op exploring mindfulness through movement of Dance - and her deep rooted spiritual practices are strongly reflected in this beautiful collection of work.
Mindfulness and being "in the moment" plays a huge role in Brenda's life. Through her use of language, texture and light - a sense of being "anchored" in a moment is reflected in each of the pieces in this new exhibition. Inner and Outer worlds are connected and reflected in Geography of the Heart.
Brenda holds a degree in Visual Communications and her work is in collections in both Ireland and abroad including The Office of Public Works, Galway, St James Hospital , Dublin and Crumlin Children's Hospital. Her work has also been published and has featured in Image Interiors, Image Magazine and The Irish Independent & Life Magazine.
Brenda's work has been published as a range of greeting cards in the UK through M.E.G. Publishing House and she has illustrated for UNICEF, Amnesty and The Crafts Council of Ireland.
An exhibition by Jim Ricks and Andrew Salomone[/caption]
an exhibition by Jim Ricks and Andrew Salomone
15 March – 11 April 2013
Opening reception: Friday 15 March at 8pm
The Son of the Man who Saves the World is a two-person exhibition featuring works that playfully engage with notions of authorship, collaboration, derivative work, and pizza by Jim Ricks and Andrew Salomone.
Despite having not worked directly together since 2006, both Jim Ricks and Andrew Salomone have pursued similar art practices after attending the Burren College of Art Masters programme. That is, they both use equal parts humour, approximation, and appropriation to create work and have much in common as artists making their own highly fallible versions of things.
By coincidence, they both applied, separately, to work with the Courthouse Gallery many years ago. About 3 years ago they were both contacted to have a two person show. At that time the Gallery committee were unaware that they knew each other. Both artists were delighted to accept.
They decided to work in tandem to create the exhibition, each expressing his own practice, yet responding to one another. The title is a translation of the sequel to a Turkish film more commonly know as Turkish Star Wars. The film used, without permission, the battle scenes from Star Wars in a completely unrelated way to fit their own narrative, which is not unlike the way that Jim Ricks and Andrew Salomone each make their own work.
Ricks will be producing an idea Salomone came up with in 2006. Andrew has no recollection of this idea. It will be a series of paintings that are reproductions of artwork found in the Simpson’s TV series. This builds off Ricks’ own interest in institutional critique and epistemology. Salomone will be creating works from his studio in Brooklyn, NY and taking into consideration the distance both between himself and the show. Works in development are the latest in a series of conceptualist pizza deliveries, and significantly utilising a hacked knitting machine to create Rubber Bandits wool balaclavas, a custom made jumper to be worn the opening night, and a range of other knitted wears. He will also include video and photo documentation of previous works.
Jim Ricks earned his MFA from the National University of Ireland, Galway/Burren College of Art programme and received his BFA from the California College of the Arts. He has exhibited numerous solo and group shows throughout Ireland and internationally. Originally from California, he has lived in Ireland for nearly 8 years and currently has a studio in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. He has an upcoming solo show at The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery.
Originally from Southern California, Andrew Salomone received an MFA from the National University of Ireland and has exhibited throughout the Republic of Ireland. He's lectured on internet art practice at Parsons the New School for Design and his work has been featured on ABC’s 'Good Morning America' as well as several art and technology websites, including: boing boing, Gizmodo, The Guardian, and Makezine. Andrew currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Supported by the Clare County Council Arts Office. Special thanks to The Roadside Tavern and Burren Smokehouse.
Please check :
CIRCUS EUROPE: an international collaboration featuring Poetry & Images
Collages by Machteld van Buren (The Netherlands).
From Saturday 12 January – 1 February 2013
Official opening 12th January
4 pm – Reading and book launch
5 pm – Launch of the exhibition
Closing reception with artist talk and panel discussion: 1 February at 7pm
The theme of the panel discussion is: Questioning Europe’s Future
The series of works titled ‘Circus Europe’are created by Machteld van Buren in 2012. The eight large collages illustrate how the struggle for survival is being waged in various European countries.
Eight poets were invited to offer their interpretation of these images. The Irish poets taking part in this project are Jo Slade, Frank Golden, Jessie Lendennie and Patrick Chapman.
The Dutch poets are Arnoud van Adrichem, Martin Reints, Lieke Marsman and Peter van Lier.
Publisher Salmon Poetry, based in Co Clare, will publish a booklet of this project in an English edition. The collages are to be exhibited in both Ireland and the Netherlands.
Machteld van Buren is an established artist and her work is in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht and the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden. (http://www.machteldvanburen.nl/)
In this project she reflects on the tensions and uncertainties that exist in the present-day European Union which, although it is presented under the banner of a common flag, has always been a patchwork of independent nations. The current crisis has made it clear that a ‘United States of Europe’ is still a long way off. In the future, further disintegration is perhaps a more likely prospect than political union.
The collages explore how the struggle for survival is being waged in various European countries. Most of the countries are depicted as an animal: the body consists of a map onto which the realistic head of an animal has been superimposed.
Great Britain is portrayed with a number of horses’ heads, which form part of the landscape. The awkward juxtaposition of these figures suggests that the UK is not only struggling with its position within the EU, but is also divided by internal strife. Germany appears to be a bird of prey – not the traditional eagle, but a vulture. The juggling acts which these circus animals have to perform to keep themselves going are indicative of how each nation functions. But just how the stunts work is not entirely clear.
Rather than leaving it to politicians to define the Europe of today and tomorrow, it would be good to have artists depict it as well. Given the tone of the debate, alternatives with a playful or visionary element might actually be quite useful.
So let the fun begin: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Circus Europe!’
=± EQUATION ±= an exhibition by Sarah Lundy
In the Red Couch Space
=± EQUATION ±= features an edited body of recent work by Clare based multimedia artist Sarah Lundy to be shown in the Red Couch space, Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery.
opening 12th January 2013 at 4pm.
Lundys work mediates purely formalist concerns and contemporary conceptualism. Through the use of moving image, assemblage of quotidian objects and ephemeral performance materials, the works endeavour to negotiate provocative arrangement and questions autonomy in the face of homogenization. Her practice involves the production of stoic visual accounts of the experience of the individual through consideration of the inevitable synthetic systemization of language, labour and behaviour. The aesthetic is post-minimalist with a focus on eloquent paradoxes of form and function, and their relationship to the notion of identity.
Lundy is a visual artist and curator based in county Clare. She holds a BA hons in Arts, English & Philosophy & MA 1st Hons in Arts Policy & Practice from NUI Galway, plus a distinction certificate in Professional Art Practice from GTI. Currently she is studying part-time for her MFA with the OCA & is Front of House Manager at Glor Arts Centre, Ennis, Clare and holds a voluntary position of administrator with GUAC. She has exhibited in selected group exhibitions in 126 Gallery, Galway, Catalyst Arts Belfast, Mad Art Gallery, Dublin, Carnegie Arts Centre, Kerry, Galway Arts Centre and Tactic Cork amongst others. Having completed a curatorial internship at The Model, Sligo recent curatorial projects include Void:Volume international group exhibition at Galway Arts Centre, November 2011 & Television group exhibition, Tactic, Cork in association with MART, September 2012.She was recently selected for a group screening at Riverbank Arts Centre, London at the Irish Film Festival, London, November 2012. Further video work can be seen at www.mart.ie.
Official opening Saturday, February 16, at 4 pm
In the exhibition, David Skinner presents a series of landscape paintings that focuses on the Burren area of County Clare. Originally based in California, the artist is known for employing a bright palette and expressive brushwork in paintings that strike a balance between abstract and representational art. In this new body of work, Skinner draws inspiration from the unique light of the Irish winter, depicting the long shadows and vibrant colours that announce themselves once the sun has broken through the clouds. Since moving to Ireland last fall, he has been busy exploring the back roads of the Burren, taking photographs to use as source material back in the studio. The traditional cottages that appear in some of the works are referenced less as lodgings and more as shapes that the land accommodates. For this show, the paintings are primarily small works (25 x 25 cm), painted with acrylics on watercolour paper. Seen together, these small paintings provide an evocative view of an intriguing and ancient region of Ireland.
From FEB 16 – MARCH 7, 2013
Official opening Saturday 16th February at 4 pm
Everybody welcome and meet the artists.
The upcoming exhibition at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon will show new paintings and drawings by Leonard Graham and John Cullen. Both artists work in an expressive style.
Leonard's works are very spontaneous and almost primitive in their application. He wants to simplify drawing right down to its base form. “I clear my head of any preconceived notions and let the stream of conscience flow”, he says. “What is left is a deeply buried background noise manifest onto paper.”
Leonard Graham was born in Limerick and raised in Co. Clare. He graduated from Limerick School of Art in 2000 with a degree in fine art printmaking and a higher diploma in art teaching. He has had a variety of solo and group exhibitions in Ireland, England and on-line. He also teaches art and design in Cork and is currently working on a graphic novel due in 2014.
John Cullen's paintings are inspired by the distressed images of boxers’ faces.
Through use of colour, composition and surface he tries to convey emotional states – courage, fear, anger, uncertainty, humiliation etc. “As such the paintings are metaphors for the state of humanity within the context of the current economic downturn”, he says.
“They are also very much about paint, and my attempts to apply and manipulate it until the painting takes on a life of its own, or becomes something independent. To this end layering and the use of impasto are vital to the process. I prefer to work on one painting at a time, giving it everything I can until it is resolved or destroyed. It is this tightrope between resolution and destruction that is the challenge for me as an artist.”
John Cullen was born in London and is resident in Ireland since 1995. He lives and works in Sligo. He graduated from Sligo I.T in 2009 with a degree in Fine Art. Since then he had various solo and group exhibitions in Ireland.